Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Back from Spring Break and the race to the end begins....

Last week our students were on Spring Break. While many of them headed to Florida for the traditional college "spring break" experience many others took this time to re-group, volunteer or rest and relax at home while our spring sports teams headed south for athletic competition. I had the opportunity to address almost 500 parents at a VSAC (Vermont Student Assistance Corporation) College Pathways annual series of workshops designed for high school juniors and their parents. I spoke to the parents about the transition from high school to college and while a good deal of what I presented made many of them "uncomfortable" and provoked a good deal of anxiety, it was important that parents more fully understand some of the issues I talked about. I have received a number of emails from parents who attended my session and I appreciate their comments and inquiries.

I met with my Practicum students yesterday and they began presenting their final yearlong projects which consist of a case study of a "client" at their internship sites. Kate Amey was the first and she did an exceptional job in clearly and concisely presenting her case study. My students interview someone at their site and then research whatever the presenting issues are and along with a site supervisor (and, of course respecting confidentiality and with the "client's" permission) prepare information for the class. This project allows my students to pull together much of what we have learned over the past academic year (Practicum is a two semester course) and it is always gratifying to see how my students can incorporate so much of what we discuss/research in class. I am looking forward to the rest of these case study presentations. We also discussed the REALITY that we only have 4 more classes before the semester comes to an end. While it was great that two of my students have now heard from graduate schools (congratulations to Rachael and Erika on getting their acceptances) it is also a somewhat frightening reality that the "race to the end" is upon us. The good thing is that this class has really come together as a highly functioning group so they are able to talk openly with each other and with me about their plans (or lack thereof) after graduation. Interesting and challenging times.

Men & Masculinities met last night and students did a presentation on Men & Masculinities and Film - this is an extremely thought-provoking topic and we ended with small group discussions on what THEY think the impact has been on them from all forms of media when it comes to the way in which they have been socially constructed to view men. Each small group consists of 3 women and 3 men so the interaction/discussion is fascinating to watch. This class also only has 4 more classes in the semester so they too are feeling the pressures of their time here coming to an end. I have been hosting "dinner at Dave's" for the past several Mondays and last night had 5 of these students over for dinner after class. I chased them out around 11:00 after a wonderful evening of food, discussion and their just having a chance to get off campus for a meal. They are always so appreciative of this opportunity and it certainly is a pleasure for me. My Practicum class now insists that I have THEM over for dinner too - we will work something out but they also insist on all being together so there won't be a splitting up as there has been with M&M - hummm perhaps pizza from Domino's????????

It is raining outside, dark and gloomy - much different from last week when they were all gone and I was able to get to the mountain and ski at Smuggler's Notch - temperatures last week were in the 50's and now they are hovering around 40 - but as I have often said, when the temperatures rise in the springtime their grades seem to fall - let's hope for some combination of studying and good weather.

Take care, be well and please keep the members of our military and their families in your thoughts and prayers.


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